UK is fastest growing G7 economy by one measure, and fifth by another

13 January 2022
What was claimed

The UK has the fastest growing economy in the G7.

Our verdict

That’s true if you look at change over the most recent 12 months of data. If you look at growth over the last quarter of data (Q2 to Q3 2021), the UK places fifth.

“We now have [...] the fastest growing economy in the G7”

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson claimed the UK was the fastest growing economy in the G7, a group of advanced world economies including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA.

The Prime Minister has regularly made the claim at PMQs in recent weeks

The latest data shows that the UK’s economy grew the most over the past year, looking at the change between the third quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021 (data for the fourth quarter of 2021 is not yet available).

However, the UK’s growth was fifth when comparing the second and third quarters of 2021.

Over the course of the pandemic so far (between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2021), the UK’s economy has experienced the second worst growth among the G7, contracting by 1.5%.

Economic growth figures for the UK and other countries are not entirely comparable due to the way in which the UK calculates the output of its health and education sectors.

This means that the UK’s growth figures look relatively worse for 2020 and look relatively better in 2021. 

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